Once a home is purchased, defects may appear when least expected. If they are slight defects perceived at the time of possession, it is advisable to inform the property developer or the builder
immediately and in writing.
The duties and responsibilities of persons or companies involved in the construction of a property are regulated by the Ley de Ordenación de la Edifcación (LOE) Building Management Law in Spanish, This law, which came into force on 6th of May of 2000, protects the interests of home buyers in a very direct and determinant way.
The property developer is the person on which lie the main responsibilities, although it is not the only one who should respond to complaints. All the agents involved in the construction have obligations towards owners and third-party purchasers of real estate, in the case of complaints by construction deficiencies.
Procedure to follow:
Far from being cumbersome, the steps to be taken following the detection of a defect are simple. It is essential that, in claiming, all instances are recorded in writing. As in any other claim procedure, evidentiary documents are crucial, even if there is willingness of the other party to resolve matters. The actions to be taken are:
Define which of the three groups of damage is classified the damage of the housing. (See list in previous
Identify exactly the construction defect and check if the fault is still covered by the applicable warranty.
Check that the claiming period of two years has nor expired.
Obtain the services of an architect to look into the case and provide you with a written report.
The report should determine who are responsible for the damage, in addition to the property developer.
Once the report is endorsed by the College of Architects, you can commence the claim against the property developer and
other persons responsible for the defect. Normally at this stage is strongly recommended that a lawyer expert in civil demands are also engaged specially if the defects are of a significant
The claim must be in writing either a notarized letter or bureau fax as proof that the document has been sent and received
normally accepted as such in court.
- The courts should always be the ultimate approach. Before reaching this sphere, if the property developer does not respond, it is advisable to make a second attempt at notifying. Should the other party continue without responding or dismissing the complaint, the problem must then be resolved in court. For this reason, it is essential to preserve all documents related to the case.
Claims must be made by the owner within a period of two years from when the damage has occurred. However, if we are talking about slight damages, it is advisable to inform the property developer or builder immediately and in writing. One of them will have to repair it since it is a fault arising from the negligence or breach of the duties of the staff that depends on them. If they inform you that it is not possible for them to carry out the repairs, an agreed amount in compensation could be negotiated proportional to the defect found.
There are different ways to carry out the claims. But we must also be clear that some defects are caused by the owners. Among these we can mention the damage caused by misuse or lack of proper maintenance etc.
The main obligation of the users is to keep the building in good condition. For this reason the cases above are not subject of claims.
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